David Roberge

By: David Roberge on April 15th, 2015

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Cost-Savings And Shrink Packaging And.. Birds?

Packaging Materials | The Business of Packaging

Okay, this article is really about savings and shrink packaging, but let me paint a picture to illustrate an idea, here. (This may make absolutely no sense, but bear with me, I am feeling creative today..)


Imagine if wasted money made sounds.. and let's say that every time a nickel or dime was spent carelessly, it made a slightly annoying bird chirp. You know, like those loud birds that ever-so-kindly choose to sit just outside your bedroom window before the morning sun has even crested the horizon... on a Saturday?


Now, think of your packaging line (Right? This sounds like it totally relates!). If the money being wasted actually made such sounds, would your packaging line be a cacophony of cruel birds taking a break on your windowsill? Or, would it sound like a smooth, productive field of humming, rhythmically clapping, hissing machines, and cost-maximized packaging goodness? 


Depending on if you are still following me, let me show you a few ways you can change the tune of your shrink packaging line!

This article we released helped you determine your per-package-cost. I highly recommend checking that one out and then coming back here to learn how you can impact this positively. There are several ways to reduce packaging costs, for example:


Roll Cost

Most of you are pretty good at this already. Through negotiation, everyone knows there are ways that you can get a better price. Did you know that you could buy larger quantities and reduce your shipments and possibly your costs? Fewer deliveries, fewer charges.


Film Width

Are you aware that there are roll widths that are fractions of an inch? Most people think that shrink film only comes in full inch increments. However, if you are running a high-volume production, this is a great tactic! You can save a hefty amount on film costs by decreasing your film width to fit your products just right while also reducing film waste! For instance, if you can reduce your width from 12" to 11.5", you will immediately save 4.2%! If you are running a small production with low quantities of finished goods, this may not add up to savings as these rolls would be custom-cut by the manufacturers. Ordering smaller volumes of custom films may cost more than it is worth. This is definitely worth a conversation with your supplier, either way!


Film Cut-off (bag length)

The film cut-off is the amount of film that you take off the roll for each package. To determine your cut-off, package one of your products on your shrink machine and remove it before it goes into the shrink tunnel. Slit the film to allow you to take your product out of the film and lay the film flat. Measure from one end seal to the other. This is your cut-off length.


If you can reduce this, for example, from 11"- 10", you will save 9.1% Immediately!  These are just 3 of the many ways you can save. So, does your packaging line sound like a pack of annoying pigeons lately? We have lots of ideas on how to save money with your packaging that goes beyond merely giving away our profits. Stick around for more! 


If these three tips were helpful, download your own copy of the Shrink Film Cheat Sheet, free! It includes 3 more cost-savers that can really benefit your overall packaging costs when it comes to shrinking your shrink spend. 


Find out your ideal shrink bag length and how many packages you can produce per roll of shrink film with this easy-to-use cutoff and PPR calculator!


This article was slightly modified on April 17th, 2020 after initial publishing on January 14th, 2015.

Shrink Bag Length and Packages Per Roll Calculator - Industrial Packaging Tools


About David Roberge

Part of the outstanding Industrial Packaging team. I'm lucky to hang out with some of the most knowledgeable folks in the packaging industry. I feel even luckier to be able to share our knowledge with you. I love learning about our readers and helping them grow their brand through unique, flexible package design from the birth of the product idea, through the supply chain, and to the launch and placement on the shelf or at the consumer's door.